Dorit Donoviel, Ph.D., serves as Executive Director for the Translational Research Institute for
Space Health (TRISH), a NASA-funded cooperative agreement with a consortium led by Baylor
College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, TX and includes the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena, CA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. Under Dr.
Donoviel’s leadership, the mission of TRISH is to lead a national effort in translating cutting
edge emerging terrestrial biomedical research and technology development into applied space
flight human risk mitigation strategies for human exploration missions. Prior to TRISH, Dr.
Donoviel served as deputy chief scientist and Industry Forum Lead for the National Space
Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). Before her work with TRISH and NSBRI, Dr. Donoviel
worked in the private sector, where she led metabolism drug discovery programs at Lexicon
Pharmaceuticals in Houston, TX.
Under Dr. Donoviel’s leadership, the NSBRI successfully completed a pathfinding international
study collaborating with the German Space Agency to use their brand new spaceflight analog
facility, :envihab. This groundbreaking pilot study resulted in more than 5 scientific publications,
and paved the way for NASA to use a ground-based model for the highest risk to human health
in low earth orbit, the Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome.
TRISH, under Dr. Donoviel’s leadership, has matured into a highly successful innovation
research program that serves NASA and the Nation’s needs. During the 2019 pandemic, when
academic laboratories were shuttered, Dr. Donoviel directed funded researchers to pivot their
work towards developing novel diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical training to fight the
pandemic. This enabled the researchers to get back to work to demonstrate novel approaches
that combat the virus response at the same time as they demonstrated proof of principle for a
medical application for spaceflight.
Dr. Donoviel’s vision, and ability to bring multiple stakeholders together to work toward a
common cause, has enabled TRISH to build EXPAND, the first ever human research database
and repository to collect data and biospecimens from private spaceflight participants. Working
closely with SpaceX and their first all commercial crew, Inspiration4, TRISH successfully
implemented a scientifically robust space research program and completed data collection in
Dr. Donoviel is the recipient of awards from the NASA Human Research Program and was
awarded the NSBRI Pioneer Award. She continues to author numerous scientific articles and
papers in academic journals and is a sought-after expert for interviews by news organizations,
both regionally, nationally, and internationally. She regularly authors opinion pieces on the
importance of health research in spaceflight. Dr. Donoviel has been, and continues to be, a
keynote speaker about space health concerns, science, and biomedical innovations at
numerous domestic and international conferences.
Dr. Donoviel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical
Biology and the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. She is a long-
standing Faculty Senator and serves on the College’s Institutional Policy Committee. Dr.
Donoviel’s training includes a B.A. in Biochemistry at University of California, San Diego, and a
Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Washington. Dr. Donoviel also performed
postgraduate training at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.